PRO Says He WasUnaware
By: NyimaSillah & SandallySawo
The Gambia’s border authorities have been reportedly receiving cash from Gambians, who were attempting to travel to the EU, through the Backway.
Multiple sources have informed The Voice that officers of the Gambia Immigration Department (GID) posted at some border entry points in the URR were imposing a D600 fee on intending migrants as a condition for allowing them to cross over to Senegal to continue with their irregular journeys to Europe.
Our sources said GID officers were collecting D600 from each migrant on the pretext that they needed a COVID-19 certificate to enable them to move on.
“The GID officers at the Gambia/Senegal border in the URR have been receiving D600 from each Gambian, trying to leave the country for Europe on condition that they couldn’t proceed with their trips without a Covid-19 certificate,” one of the sources explained.
Another source claimed that officers were issuing some of the migrants with a refusal threat to ensure compliance.
“I had no option but to pay because I just wanted to leave the country. I suffered a similar extortion at the hands of Malian, Nigerien, and Burkinabe security officers,” he further claimed.
One source explained to this medium that the GID officers were exploiting the desperation of young Gambians as they attempted to reach Europe.
“They knew we desperately wanted to leave the country and were, therefore, cashing in on the situation,” he added.
When contacted, GID PRO Chief Superintendent MamandingDibba said he wasn’t aware of the reports.